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The Trials of Henry Kissinger

This blunt, fast-paced BBC documentary—arriving for a special engagement at Time & Space Limited for the next two weekends—makes the case that Nobel Peace Prizewinning former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is a war criminal and should be hauled into an international court for his crimes. Based on the book The Trial of Henry Kissinger by journalist Christopher Hitchens, The Trials of Henry Kissinger details Kissinger’s deadly mischief in some of the world’s most notorious killing fields of the late ’60s and ’70s: Vietnam, Cambodia, Chile and East Timor.

It is filmmakers Eugene Jarocki’s and Alex Gibney’s contention that Kissinger helped scuttle peace talks between the Johnson administration and North Vietnam; initiated the illegal expansion of the Vietnam war into Cambodia; supported a bloody military coup in Chile; and gave the green light to Indonesia’s brutal annexation of newly independent, former Belgian colony East Timor, which resulted in 100,000 deaths. (All the while, Kissinger found time to become a jet-setting celebrity: He was truly a Renaissance man.) Interviewees include supporters like Alexander Haig, Brent Scowcroft, and William Safire; detractors include writers Seymour Hersh, William Shawcross and Hitchens.

The Trials of Henry Kissinger will be shown at Time & Space Limited (434 Columbia St., Hudson) for two consecutive weekends. Screenings this weekend will be Saturday (Jan. 25) at 7 PM and Sunday (Jan. 26) at 4 PM. Screenings next weekend will be Friday (Jan. 31) and Saturday (Feb. 1) at 7 PM, and Sunday (Feb. 2) at 4 PM. Tickets are $7.50 nonmembers, $5 members. Call 822-8448 for more information.

Jason Ringenberg

In 1981, budding songwriter Jason Ringenberg left his family’s Illinois farm for Nashville, where he founded Jason and the Scorchers, a pioneering band who fused high-speed hard-rock bluster with melodic country twang. The Scorchers are often credited as the first true “country punk” band, and they paved the way for the legion of “alternative country” bands that followed, from Uncle Tupelo to the Bottle Rockets.

The Scorchers officially disbanded last year, after playing together off and on throughout the ’90s. “At the end of last spring, our drummer decided he didn’t want to go on tour anymore and that changed things,” Ringenberg explains over the phone from his home in Nashville. “It’s not part of my future now—that’s my past.”

Ringenberg has spent the last few years touring in support of his solo career, and tonight (Thursday) he’ll be in Albany for a solo acoustic performance at Valentine’s. In 2000, he released the sparse, acoustic A Pocketful of Soul, his second solo album (his first came out in 1991). Last year saw the release of All Over Creation, an eclectic batch of songs that Ringenberg recorded with a series of guest musicians, from country music icon Steve Earle to anti-folk rocker Ed Hamell of Hamell on Trial, whom Ringenberg met while playing at a festival in Ireland. (“I heard this fantastic punk rock band playing in a club so I went inside. Turns out it wasn’t a band, it was Ed,” Ringenberg laughs.)

When Ringenberg played solo in Albany last winter, Hamell even made an unannounced onstage appearance. Ringenberg lets on that his upcoming Valentine’s gig could contain all manner of surprises as well. “Every show is different,” he says. “I only have a song or two in mind when I get up onstage. Everything else is spontaneous—it depends on what songs people request or yell out. You get fans from all phases, so I try to cover my whole career. That’s getting harder now though, since I’ve done 12 albums in 20 years.”

Ringenberg’s solo sets are notable for the intense energy that he brings to the stage. During his solo set at Valentine’s last year, Ringenberg yelped and hollered, kicked up a storm with his cowboy boots and raced across the stage to execute dosados—all as if backed by the most rocking band in the world. “I’m a performer by nature,” he admits, after being reminded of last year’s Albany show. “In music that’s my strongest point. Everything else I have to work at. I sang for 20 years with one of the loudest bands on the planet. I got used to having to make myself heard. That’s my habit now—I just want to walk onstage and raise as much hell as possible.”

Jason Ringenberg will perform tonight (Thursday, Jan. 23) at 7 PM, downstairs at Valentine’s (17 New Scotland Ave., Albany). Also on the bill are the College Farm and Michael Eck. Tickets are $10. Call 432-6572 for more information.

—Kirsten Ferguson


Passion, deception, political corruption, blackmail, sex and murder—there’s nothing like Italian grand opera. Puccini’s well-loved epic tells the story of jealous Tosca and her artist-lover Cavaradossi, and their unhappy conflict with a villainous police official, Scarpia, who wants the former in his bed and the latter dead. Grand emotions are best suited to an equally grand presentation, and the army of musicians and performers to be deployed on Proctor’s stage Saturday night seem appropriate for the task. Direct from Moscow, the Russian State Opera will present Puccini’s masterwork with 110 performers and a 40-piece orchestra. Tosca will be sung in Italian, with English supertitles for your convenience.

Tosca will be performed Saturday (Jan. 25) at 8 PM at Proctor’s Theatre (432 State St., Schenectady). There will be a free discussion of the show for ticketholders in the entertainment space just off Proctor’s Arcade at 6:30 PM. Tickets are $45, $36, $34. Call 346-6204 for reservations and information.

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